The first step in your bow-and-arrow journey is trying the sport at an archery shop. Once you’ve learned archery’s basic skills, consider participating in a program or signing up for advanced lessons.
One-on-one archery lessons accelerate your learning because you receive the instructor’s full attention for 30 minutes. As you improve, you might want to extend your lessons to one hour. Another option is group lessons, which are a fun, social way to learn. Many archery shops offer group lessons for adults and youths. Contact an archery shop to learn you lesson options.
Programs offer other ways to learn the sport, whether through schools, pro shops, community centers or archery/bowhunting clubs.
Junior Olympic Archery Development
JOAD is a USA Archery program for 8- to 20-year-olds. These group lessons are usually held weekly at shops, clubs or ranges, and help archers hone their skills at their own pace in a community-based atmosphere. Group lessons also help participants meet other archers while receiving individual attention from certified instructors. JOAD classes feel much like other organized sports, and parents play an important role in the program.
USA Archery’s Adult Archery program offers the same benefits as JOAD, including opportunities to exercise, meet new friends, and build self-confidence. It caters to students 21 and older.
Olympic Archery in the Schools
OAS is a youth program that gives students a fun mental and physical challenge. As its name implies, OAS teaches Olympic-style archery. Participants compete in individual and team matches, and a nationwide mail-in tournament.
National Archery in the Schools Program
NASP is an in-school activity that provides a basic introduction to archery with Genesis bows and arrows, which fit everyone from children to adults. NASP archers shoot 5- to 15-yard distances at an 80-centimeter target. NASP also sponsors tournaments where schools compete locally, regionally and nationally.
Scholastic 3D Archery
Scholastic 3D Archery is a fun next-step introductory program that helps students experience 3D archery after school. They shoot life-sized, three-dimensional animal targets indoors and outdoors. The program lets participants use all types of archery gear, including basic bows, Olympic recurves and compound bows. In addition to after-school classes, the program offers competitive tournaments locally and nationally. These fun events are excellent competition for boosting college resumes.
Explore Archery is an introductory program that excels at getting newcomers hooked on the sport. It’s available in one-day, one-week, six-week or special-event classes. The class takes students from learning basic archery form to simple games and fun competitions.
Many archers first try archery with an unsighted bow and few accuracy-enhancing accessories. Basic bows are easy for camps and other programs where many people must shoot the same bow. Shooting bare bow makes sense in those settings, because sights, release aids and peep sights must be adjusted for each archer, which takes time and great care.
Archers USA developed a sight, release, peep sight and draw-weight adjustment system that helps archers set up fast and easy. The system also makes it easy for shops or instructors to set the bow to each archer’s specs because the adjustments are numbered. Once archers are set up with an Archers USA bow, they receive a numbered code that tells the pro how to set the bow to the archer’s specs. To make things even easier, the adjustments don’t require tools. The “varsity” program brings these unique bows into schools for use during or after the school day.
Talk to your archery shop or contact the programs’ administrators to learn which group or individual sessions are available nearby.